Friday, November 29, 2019

Tamara Allard Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has a new visitor! Tamara Allard is a higher education advocate, a talented gymnast, and the current Miss Sunfair. I was thrilled that she was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more.

So let's see what happens when Tamara Allard visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Sunfair crown?

In Yakima, there is this famous little drive through called Minor Burger, although the burgers are anything but minor (think so big you can’t fit them in your mouth). Immediately after the pageant I headed there to enjoy a giant batch of onion rings!

What did you learn about yourself at the Miss Sunfair competition that will help you at Miss Washington?
I learned how important it is for me to represent my hometown (Yakima) and be competing in my home state. When you have dual eligibility like me (I’m eligible in Maryland and Washington due to graduate school), it can be difficult to decide where you should compete. Especially, when there is such a huge stigma surrounding “state hopping”. However, I knew when I signed up for Miss Sunfair (a title in the Miss Yakima County Organization) that I belong in Yakima. That is where I grew up and spent most of my life, that’s where my entire family is. My belief was only confirmed at the competition! It felt amazing to be surrounded by familiar faces and I am so grateful that I’m the hometown girl once more. My advice to other girls with dual eligibility is to compete in the place that feels most like home with the people who feel most like family! If you follow your heart, the judges at your local and state competition will be able to see your passion for those organizations and that’s worth everything to Miss America!

Do you have a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Sunfair?
Yes! In the last couple of years, I have educated over 2,300 K-12 students about evidence-based practices that will help them prepare for Higher Education! This year, I want to double that number! So, if you are a teacher and you won’t me to speak in your classroom, please reach out!

How did you select your social impact initiative: “Preparation for Higher Education”?
When I was seven, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that leads to inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and deficits in executive functions. Commonly, these symptoms cause extreme difficulty in the classroom. For me this meant that I was slow to read, slow to learn math, and slow to make friends. Overall, these experiences made my early education a difficult time for me and I dreaded going to school. Who would have guessed that I would graduate, let alone go to college and eventually earn a Ph.D.? It was only because of the teachers and mentors in my life that I was able to overcome these challenges. These experiences inspired me to help other students who are struggling from academic and financial barriers on their way to higher education.

As a talented gymnast, what is your favorite part about performing on stage?
In every routine I have ever performed, I always walk on my hands. It’s never quite the same, sometimes I spin in circles or do a flip out of it, but hand walking is always staple of my talent. What make it my favorite part is that, without fail, the audience goes crazy! I mean full on hooping and hollering! I live for that moment! But here’s a little secret between your readers and me, it’s one of the easiest skills in my current routine. In fact, sometimes I choreograph hand walking in so that I can catch my breath after a tumbling pass.

If you could be a Disney character for a week, which would you choose? Why?
Lilo! Who wouldn’t want a vacation to Hawaii?

What is your personal fitness routine?
As you mentioned, I’m a gymnast, so I stay fit by dancing several times a week! While, I also enjoy lifting weights and doing cardio, there is a lot of value in sport specific/functional fitness. If you can’t motivate yourself to workout in a gym, then join a dance class or take karate. Fitness doesn’t need to be one size fits all.

Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?
Once upon a time, I threw out the first pitch at a Yakima Pippins game. Let me tell you, it was NOT good! Therefore, I feel I must redeem myself! For this reason, it is my dream to throw out the first pitch at a Mariners game, but this time actually make it to the catcher!

You had the chance to attend a game at Camden Yards. What was that experience like?
Amazing! Camden Yards is beautiful, clean, and bursting with
O’s pride. The best part was we sat right over the dugout! Apparently, every time every time the camera took a close up of the batter you could see us in the background. I highly recommend you visit the park if you’re ever in Baltimore.


I definitely plan to make it there as soon as I can!

As always, I want to thank Tamara for doing this interview, and for sending along the wonderful pictures. They really make the post a lot more fun.

As Tamara continues her time as Miss Sunfair, I encourage you to follow her on her official Facebook page. It’s great way to see what she’s up to during her time with the crown.

I also want to wish Tamara luck when she competes for the Miss Washington crown. It would be amazing to have a former Section 36 visitor take home that title!

Thanks again Tamara, and good luck!

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